Jamil Kali – Talks Body Image, Confidence, Fashion, Beauty, and More!

Photographed by Roberto Ligresti

Jamil Kali has modeled for amazing labels and magazines!  Jamil has modeled for Baby Phat, Rocawear, House of Dereon, Torrid, Hips and Curves, Kmart, Levis, Dockers for Women, Lord & Taylor, It Figures Swimsuits, Hanes Plus Silk Reflections, QVC, Latina Magazine, Essence Magazine, Marie Claire magazine, Philadelphia Style Magazine. She has appeared on B.E.T.’s Rip the Runway, The View, Good Day Philadelphia, Inside Edition, and The Rachel Ray Show.

Jamil was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended school in Pennsauken, New Jersey. We are excited to share our Q&A interview with you.

How did you get started in the plus modeling industry?

I started locally in Philly after being approached by a designer on the subway. Then I learned that if I wanted to model on a major level, I needed to be in NYC, LA, or Miami. I took a couple of days off from my day job (at the time) and visited agencies in NYC that represented plus size models. I was offered representation by each one. I signed with the agency (IPM Model Management) that I’m still with today.

How do you think plus modeling is helping to redefine beauty?

Beauty is beauty and is undeniable. It’s not restricted by size, age, or ethnicity. Plus modeling is definitely helping to redefine the one standard of beauty being perpetuated. Curves are not new but were overlooked for a while. Now the media, designers, and companies are paying attention to our popularity. The world sees that women are embracing their curves and men find us sexy.

What misconceptions do you think society has of plus-size women?

The misconceptions I notice most often are that plus-size women are sad most of the time, have low self-esteem, and don’t enjoy life. As if we feel that there’s no point of living if we can’t be skinny. That’s hilarious to me because that’s not reality. Also, another misconception is that all plus-size women are unhealthy. Maybe my curvy girlfriends and I need to star in a reality show! 🙂

Photographed by Roberto Ligresti

What advice would you give to girls and women, who are struggling with body image and self-esteem issues?

Don’t let other people dictate how you feel about yourself. Focus on what you love about yourself and feel empowered about what makes you unique. Life is too short to be miserable. Take it one day at a time. You know that girl who inspires you and is confident all the time? Take one day to steal her personality and pretend to be her. Just fake it if you need to. Suddenly you’ll see that confidence is addictive and there’s no turning back.

Do you think the fashion industry is beginning to embrace plus models?

Somewhat but it still seems like baby steps. I think there’s still a lot of progress that needs to be made. I think the industry needs to realize that we live in a diverse world and their ad campaigns and runway shows need to reflect that. I applaud mainstream designers like Mark Fast, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Isaac Mizrahi, and Prada who are embracing this concept.

Who are your favorite designers?

Wow, that’s a toughie. I honestly don’t know. I’m such a fashion addict that it changes every day. Some of my long-time loves are Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, and Versace. However, fashion is constantly evolving so I don’t think I have any true favorites anymore. Lately I’ve been buying a lot of BCBG, Diane von Furstenberg, Armani, Kenneth Cole, Adrianna Papell, and Korto Momolu. My favorite plus-size designers right now are Jibri and Monif C.

Where do you like to shop for clothes?

Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bebe, and the Nikki London Boutique in Philly.

Do you have a favorite workout routine?

I love kickboxing and yoga.

Photographed by Roberto Ligresti

What is your most memorable modeling experience?

This one time I had just got off my return flight in Philly after working several days in LA – I check my voicemail and have an urgent message from my agent. I call her back and she says that she received a direct request for me for a huge job. Only catch is they need to see me that day. I hit it straight from the airport to the casting and ended up booking the campaign. That day was crazy hectic but so worth it.

Do you have any funny modeling stories you would like to share?

During my first professional photo shoot that was set up by my agent; I came in totally clueless about what to expect. The photographer ended up being out of this world. Everything out of his mouth was a cuss word. He wasn’t mean or anything, but that’s just the way he talked. As soon as I walked in, he yells “Who is this sexy b*%ch?!” I couldn’t help but laugh the entire time, and my first shoot was a success.

What is your beauty must have?

Lip gloss. My favorite lip gloss brands are Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel.

What are you excited about right now?

I’m excited about my next photo shoot coming up. The styling is going to be gorgeous. 🙂

Thank you, Jamil! We are excited to see your new photos and hear more from you!

If you have any questions or comments for Jamil, please use the comment area below our lipstick and lip gloss discussion. =)

More on Lipstick and Lip Gloss!

We cannot let this post end without talking more about lipstick and lip gloss – I am a lip gloss addict! It drives me insane to have dry lips.  I can’t even go to bed without something (usually Aquaphor) on my lips.

We asked a few models which lipstick and lip gloss brands they like best. We share our favorite brands too.

Angela likes Bare Escentuals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Trixie, Mary Kay in Pink Shimmer, and L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche lipcolour in British Red.

I like lip gloss more than lipstick, but I always wear lipstick too. The lip glosses that I love are Philosophy in Raspberry Sorbet, Prescriptives Moonbeam Reflective Gloss Brilliant in Galaxy 22, Smashbox in Illume, Clinique Long Last glosswear in Bamboo Pink, Clinique in Voluptuous Violet 12, Mary Kay in Cranberry, and all of the Bare Escentuals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish colors!

Tracie Stern uses only natural beauty products. She uses Burts Bees 100% natural lip balm every day. She uses a natural high-end gloss by a German company called Lavera. She said the best natural makeup line she has used is by a makeup artist in NY named Christopher Drummond. His line is fantastic! It’s mineral, but only the natural, non toxic minerals. Plus, he adds aloe to it so it doesn’t make your skin feel dry. Since he’s an industry makeup artist, he created the line to withstand a photo shoot! If you are looking for a 100% natural and organic skin care line, Tracie is exclusively working with Tata Harper Skincare. It’s a fantastic line and does for you naturally what other high-end products do synthetically. Check it out at http://www.facebook.com/l/6a651;www.tataharper.com

Elisa D’Ospina loves neutral gloss because it gives her lips shine without seeing a gloss color.

What are your favorite lipstick and lip gloss brands and colors? We want to hear from you!

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16 Responses to “Jamil Kali – Talks Body Image, Confidence, Fashion, Beauty, and More!”

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  6. eva hankins Says:

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  11. Hi!
    So inspiring thoughts! All the girls at age 10-18 years should read it. In this “slim hunt”, women are forgeting who they really are. I’m glad to know there are people who understand that beauty is not only outlook.
    Liis Theresia.
    liistheresia.blogspot.com

  12. Jennifer Tealey Says:

    What advice would you give someone who is wanting to get started in plus size modeling? I really liked reading about you taking it seriously and heading to New York for a few days to shop for an agent..Could you give me more advice on how to do that? where to go? what to take with me? Did you set up interviews before you went or did you go to open calls? ADVICE PLEASE!! I LOVE New York and would be willing to plan a similar trip if only I knew where to start! I have done straight size modeling and I have my photos updated and ready to go..have sent them to several agencies! Ant advice would be great! Thanks!

  13. Jamil– you’re fabulous and inspirational. I loved your comment about “stealing” the attitude of a confident woman you respect for a day. I’m going to try it! Also, your career sounds so exciting.

    I’m a lip-gloss girl myself. Cannot live without it. Really. I’d probably just cease to exist.

  14. Jasmine Fanchon Says:

    Thanks so much Jamil k! Even though i know you didnt intend to speak to me directly I felt like i needed your message! Right now I am aspiring to model and it is very hard to be confident about my body b/c I do not feel like I fit the typical model body type. But now I am trying to gain the confidence to go to different agencies now…so we will see what happens! You are a very beautiful person inside and out! God Bless you in all that you do! WORK IT GIRL! =)

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